by Ebor Cletus Ralph Jr.

Fashion is one of the key elements that define the culture of a people or society. It speaks about the way we dress among other things, as a distinct society, way out of the rest. The question is, how apt is this position given what is prevalent around us today, in the name of fashion trend? Does the way we dress still define us as a people or tell exactly who we are and where possibly, we are from?

Growing up, there were certain clothes that our mothers and sisters can not have on even while attending to guests within the home, let alone put on such, while on social outing else where. Basically, the reason being that, the dress is viewed to be obscene or indecent. What do we have today? Our mothers, sisters and daughters have simply chosen to go near bare all in the name of current trend in fashion. Even the guys aren’t helping matters. The pants that are originally designed to be strapped to the waist region, are now left loose to drop to the thighs while struggling to walk with it. They call it sagging. The origin of this fad is from the prisons abroad especially, from the United states. Its origin dates back to when prisoners were and still, denied the use of belts, in order not to commit suicide with it or cause harm to others by using it. By virtue of this, those with oversized pants, were most likely to have their pants sagging. This is what the entire world, especially Africans, have bought into. Besides the new trend of sagging, there is also the tattered nature of the pants we put on today. This applies mostly to denim materials where by close to 70% of the trouser is shredded. The guys are not alone in this. The ladies are giving them a run for their money. They have taken it to a height unimaginable. They now shred their pants to as high as the bums level. Surprisingly, they are the preferred wears for the so called happening parties in town. They are not for the single ladies alone. The married ones, our wives and mothers have all embraced the craze for attention.

While the guys trend in tattered denim materials and having it sagged, to the ladies, it is about who exposes the body most. For the upper front, it is only the nipples that matter these days. The rest of the breasts is free for those who care to have a look. Ditto for the back side. A little tight pants inside is presumed to compliment the little short dresses (gowns) that are preferred these days. At the end, at least, a third of the body is left uncovered. In the years past, no responsible parents would allow their daughters to be seen in those kind of dresses. Sadly, the cultural battle has been lost to global fashion trends, rightly or wrongly.

Like it or not, breast cleavages are over exposed. Gowns are nastily too short. Sagging makes the guys appear as if they are learning to walk. Besides, they have to hold on to the pants with one hand, in order not to drop. This for me, is an unnecessary labour.

Finally, yes, it’s cool to go with the latest trend. However, it should be with a sense of decency and responsibility, especially, taking into account where we are coming from. This brings us to the idea of dreadlocks and tattoos. Do I have a problem with this? No. I grew up knowing that, my grand father and mother had tattoos. It was a fad in their time. Therefore, it had a cultural line.

The only difference between then and now, is the pains associated with the one of today. Yes, in traditional African settings, children are delivered naturally with dreadlocks. If that catches the fancy of today’s youth, that is understandable. With a great deal of responsibility, the tattoo and dreadlocks revolution is not worth losing sleep over. But, the sketchy dress culture, worries everyone. There is no denying it.


TV Presenter/ Content Writer

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